30 ownerless dogs flown south after clinic visit to Kangirsuk

Close to 80 dogs sterilized this past weekend in Nunavik community

Dr. Martine Nadeau, a veterinarian with Chiots Nordiques, performs a sterilization surgery on a dog in Kangirsuk. (Photo courtesy of Daphnée Veilleux-Lemieux)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A Quebec animal rescue organization flew 30 dogs south from Kangirsuk this week following a spay and neuter clinic in the community.

A team of 18 volunteers with Chiots Nordiques, a non-profit group that brings travelling veterinary clinics to northern Quebec communities, was in Kangirsuk from Aug. 12 to 15 to perform check-ups and sterilizations on the village’s dogs.

During the visit, close to 100 dogs were examined and 80 were surgically spayed and neutered, said Daphnée Veilleux-Lemieux, president of Chiots Nordiques.

Veilleux-Lemieux, a veterinarian by trade, said her organization has a lot of experience transporting large groups of staff and loads of veterinary equipment to run these clinics.

Loading 30 stray and surrendered puppies and dogs onto a chartered flight, however, was a different challenge.

“It’s a huge number for a flight,” she said in an interview.

“By road, it’s really easy, normally we transport 30 to 80 dogs per clinic.”

The dogs, now in the south, have been dispersed to various foster homes and rescue services with the hope they will be adopted.

In Nunavik, it’s common for communities to be overpopulated with dogs. Kangirsuk, which has a population of less than 600 according to census data from 2016, is no exception.

Nunavik’s first permanent veterinary clinic is under construction in Kuujjuaq. When it opens next year, it is expected to have the infrastructure to allow veterinarians to perform surgeries and provide care to animals across the region.

But without that clinic in service yet, dogs in some communities are at risk of being killed by locals as a way to control the population — something Veilleux-Lemieux said most people want to avoid.

“They want a medical solution,” she said.

Getting Chiots Nordiques to Kangirsuk took nearly a year and a half of planning, Veilleux-Lemieux said. COVID-19 restrictions prevented a large group of volunteers from travelling, and then earlier this year Kangirsuk elected a new mayor and council the group needed to work with.

Another trip to Kangirsuk is in the works for next year, Veilleux-Lemieux said, and the hope is that more communities will get spay and neuter services to get their dog populations under control.

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(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by 867 on

    Would be nice to see the government start pushing for dog ownership education initiatives. So many irresponsible negligent pet owners in the north.

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    • Posted by KUUJJUAQ on

      Lots of loose dogs in town too , should ship them all down south.

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    • Posted by oh ima on

      Ya, another eurocentric we know what is best for Inuit attitude! Indoctrination haha

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  2. Posted by What with go south dog, go south. on

    This is pathetic and ridiculous on many levels. It’s a story of Nunavik. First of all who’s paying this bill for charters and flying these saviours of the dog situation around the north, charter to fly dogs south? Who’s tab is it? I hope it’s not my tax money. Second: all this ridiculous dog population is out of tuned with Inuit of Nunavik crying out about the dog slaughter of the past. Inuit now allowing the dog situation to be taken over by the south. Makes you wonder about the dog slaughter of the past, so contradicting. Did Inuit allow this too in the past, like the slaughter? The reason for so many loose dogs in Nunavik is really a silent reaction to the rights to have dogs , as paying up for the feelings talked about in the implications of the slaughter in the first place. This is Inuit not taking responsibility again to deal with a situation. Allowing the south to do it, and building up a future complaint that’s worth compensation. Pathetic.

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    • Posted by Eskimo sled on

      Why don’t you go adopt one so you will feel better.🙂

  3. Posted by The road most traveled on

    Distractingly from social issues again. There’s just too many social issues not death with in Nunavik, to be dealing with dog issues. Dogs are a nuisance, that’s not difficult to see, but look at the real nuisance about you daily. Drunks, drugs, drug dealers, assault , suicide, murder, raped, child abuse. Vandalism, ignorance, poverty. All theses issues and much more lives too strong in Nunavik. Are we really gone to the dogs in our problems and our solutions? People hurting other people and themselves, there you have it.

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